T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Plectranthus ciliatus (Blue spur flower)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Plectranthus  
Species: Plectranthus ciliatus
Common name: Blue spur flower, Plectranthus

Plectranthus ciliatus is a South Africa trailing or straggling herb which has very vigorous runners that spreads along the ground. The undersides of the leaves and the veins that show through to the upper side are purple.Its stems are covered in purple hairs that form runners and root at nodes. It has hairy oval, textured leaves (5-12 x 3-7 cm) with serrated edges are in opposite pairs and are purple underneath below and dotted with glands. It develops erect stems (up to 30 cm tall) of tubular white flowers (1 cm long) with purple dots inside lower lip followed by small dark brown nutlets. No seed is produced in New Zealand. It spreads by runners and these are moved around in soil and with green waste dumping

It is common in gardens where it forms dense mats, similar to tradescantia, that prevent seedlings of native species from establishing, leading to eventual thinning of the canopy and the area being opened up to invasion by other weedy vines and shrubs. It is found in damp shaded habitats, especially disturbed forest, shrubland, stream sides, river systems and wetlands throughout New Zealand.

This plant is listed in the National Pest Plant Accord




The purple underside of the leaves


The hairy stem